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Buyers and renters see the barn's supremacy; WARWICKSHIRE The mix of countryside, mod cons and character that comes with a conversion is a winning combination, writes Alison Jones.

They may have once been filled with odorous animals, rusting equipment or packed to the rafters with hay, but barns have now become highly desirable accommodation.

Tom Dennes, CPBigwood's head of residential agency, described the level of interest the company received in conversions as staggering. And this applies to both sales and rentals.

Mr Dennes said: "Barn conversions have long been in vogue but if anything they are in even greater demand today.

"By their very nature they tend to be interesting period structures with tradition and history about them. They are usually full of character, often with quirky features and big, airy rooms. And of course they are usually out in the leafy countryside.

"It is often busy executives who target them - looking for good access to the motorway and rail network for work purposes but in a lovely rural location where the stresses and strains of business can be forgotten about.

"They are also loved by families. Easy for the kids to run off steam; scenic walks and lovely views for mum and dad to appreciate."

CPBigwood is currently marketing a series of such properties across Warwickshire.

For 300 years the barns at Famington Old Farm in the village of Ardens Grafton housed hand carts, provided shelter for animals and doubled as a hay store.

More recently they were turned into a stunning barn conversion. And one of the six, Southerly Barn, is up for sale with a guide price of PS365,000.

Meanwhile Gaydon Farm Barns was transformed into seven quality two- and three-bedroom homes, and marketed by CPBigwood as joint agents.

On Kineton Road, Gaydon, on the western edge of the village, the complex comprises a range of period red brick barns located in the curtilage of a Grade II listed farmhouse, set around a courtyard.

The Gaydon Development Ltd conversion followed the firm's highly successful redevelopment and sale of Glebe Farm and four barns at Aston Cantlow - the subject of a big story several years back when, under an obscure law dating from the reign of Henry VIII, the previous owners of the farmhouse had found themselves liable for in excess of PS230,000 towards repair of the crumbling chancel of the local church.

Their legal battle with the Anglican Church went all the way to the House of Lords where they lost, resulting in the sale of the farm and barns to Holloway Development Ltd.

There are barns available at the Gaydon complex from PS285,000.

Oakmere at Great Pinley Barns, Pinley Green, is a two-bedroom conversion with a large sitting room kitchen/dining room utility, bathroom and gardens. It is up for sale at PS275,000.

On the renting side, the property agents have recently seen two barn conversions snapped up.

Hillcrest Farm at Mappleborough Green, near Studley, featured open-plan living space and two double bedrooms, all in a peaceful rural setting yet convenient for nearby local amenities and commercial centres.

The asking rent was PS775 per month. Meanwhile the Threshing Barn and Shire Barn at Broad Marston near Stratford-upon-Avon were taken by two arms of the same family, relocating from the South-east.

"Farmers from yesteryear would not believe it," said Mr Dennes.

"They would surely be utterly baffled at how and why that cold and scruffy barn had suddenly transformed into a glorious modern home. We are just thankful for the legacy."



Southerly Barn. Farmington Old Farm

Oakmere, Great Pinley Barns

Hillcrest Farm, Mappleborough Green,

Gaydon Farm Barns
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Mar 20, 2014
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